Adopted and raised by my grandparents, Whitney and Hannie Anderson, I grew up in the “old school” tradition where community involvement and stewardship were expected rather than merely encouraged. In addition to their daytime jobs and the added responsibility of raising me, my grandparents were community organizers with the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club, working on endeavors such as restoring ‘Ulupo Heiau’ in Kailua. As a state lawmaker, my grandfather fought for increased funding for our schools and tougher laws to protect our children.
My mother, Kimberly, married my stepfather, John Puchalski, when I was eight. My mom met my dad via youth sports, as he was my first baseball coach. Some of my fondest childhood memories were times with my mom at Kailua Beach and Waimanalo Beach, where we’d often spend the day together. I have equally treasured memories of my dad taking me horseback riding through the trails of Maunawili, and spending quality father-and-son-time with me attending University of Hawaii sporting events. My sisters, Haliipua, 25, and Kanani, 23, and I are very fortunate to have grown up in such an involved and extended family that provided us with a lot of love.
I became involved in the political process as a college student at UH Manoa, holding fulltime employment at the Hawaii State Legislature for five legislative sessions up until graduation. I also tried my hand at running the family janitorial supply distributorship business, experiencing firsthand the hardships that many of our families face in juggling schedules and jobs to make ends meet. From these experiences, I’ve learned that citizens that work together can, and oftentimes do, accomplish great things.
Serving on the City Council sometimes takes me away from those I love most, my wife, Lisa, and our four children–daughter Tianni, 10; son JW, 8; son Kaleb, 2; and daughter Kaili, 2 (yes, Kaleb and Kaili are twins). Yet it’s my family that keeps me going, every day. They are the ones who encourage me to keep going, to continue fighting for the preservation and betterment of our community, for the kind of community that my family, and your family, all want and deserve.
- Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Hawaii at Manoa
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
- The Kamehameha Schools
- 2009-Present: Honolulu City Councilmember, District 3
- 2002-2009: Legislative Assistant, Council Chair Barbara Marshall
- *Councilmember Marshall liaison, City Council Agricultural Real Property Tax Task Force, 2004-2005
- *Honolulu City Council liaison, City Council Agricultural Development Task Force, 2005-present
- 2002: Vice President, Hali‘ipua Flowers
- 2000-2001: Budget Analyst, House Finance Committee
- 1999-2000: Administrative Assistant, Senate Minority Leader
- 1998: Researcher, Senate Minority Office
- 1997: Assistant Committee Clerk, House Judiciary Committee